Symbolism in the Great Gatsby

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Dove and peace, rose and love, they are simple yet symbolic. Every two years televisions around the world are graced with the images of five multicolored joined rings meant to represent the unity of the world in a celebration of the Olympic games. Although a circle is nothing more than a geometric shape to some, others take it to be a representation of endless love and friendship. People hold different things to be symbolic, but the inevitable truth is that everyone holds something to be representative of something else. Symbolic representation is common amongst people and cultures around the world, however it is also used by authors in literature to change meanings or instill a different meaning in the mind of the reader. In the novel The Great Gatsby, written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, symbolic representation is present in many forms. It is seen in the guests that attended Gatsby’s parties, his gigantic library, the general color scheme used in descriptions, the billboard, dust, and the setting of the entire story. Jay Gatsby’s guests at his party were symbolic in the novel by representing the entire “new money” social class. The guest’s big and sophisticated names were representative of their high social ranking, yet they also acted as shields to hide their insensitivity and shallowness. They managed to show up at every one of Gatsby’s lavish parties and take full advantage of everything he had to offer them. Their disrespectful and drunken behavior often led to the damaging of property, for which they cared nothing about. Their presence was for their own benefit to a high class, but it was of little importance to Gatsby at the time. When, however, Gatsby was truly in need of their company (while he was on his death bed), they could not seem to find his house. Gatsby was so obsessed in his attempts to win the respect of others that he furnished an elaborate library. It was common for people in the 1920’s...
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